For all the criticism of Trump’s first foreign trip, he seems to have achieved something quite unprecedented: he has united Germany’s political parties in a common fury (to avoid using a harsher word) aimed squarely at the US president.
First, it was Angela Merkel, who was stunned after Trump refused to endorse the G-7 communique on climate change, and one day later warned that Germany may no longer rely on the US (and UK), and that Europe would have to become self-sufficient going forward, perhaps envisioning much closer ties with France. Now, it is the turn of her biggest challenger in the upcoming German elections, social democrat Martin Shulz who is challenging Merkel for the chancellorship, and who accused Donald Trump of destroying Western values and undermining international cooperation.
Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Schulz was quoted by Reuters as saying Trump was “the destroyer of all Western values”, adding that the U.S. president was undermining the peaceful cooperation of nations based on mutual respect and tolerance.
“One must stand in the way of such a man with his ideology of rearmament,” Schulz added.
Trump criticised Germany earlier on Tuesday for its trade surplus and military spending levels, a day after Chancellor Angela Merkel rammed home her doubts about the reliability of the United States as an ally.
In a tweet, Trump said: “We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change.”
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